ARC review, book review, young adult

Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan (Review)

Title: Ruthless Gods
Author: Emily A. Duncan
Type: Fiction
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Publisher: Wednesday Books (Macmillan Publishing)
Date published: April 7, 2020

A digital copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Note: This book is part of a series, so there may be spoilers for a previous book/books in the synopsis below.

Darkness never works alone…

Nadya doesn’t trust her magic anymore. Serefin is fighting off a voice in his head that doesn’t belong to him. Malachiasz is at war with who–and what–he’s become.

As their group is continually torn apart, the girl, the prince, and the monster find their fates irrevocably intertwined. They’re pieces on a board, being orchestrated by someone… or something. The voices that Serefin hears in the darkness, the ones that Nadya believes are her gods, the ones that Malachiasz is desperate to meet—those voices want a stake in the world, and they refuse to stay quiet any longer.

⤖ My Review ⬻

Any of you who have read my Wicked Saints review will think it quite obvious that the sequel, Ruthless Gods, was one of my most-anticipated releases of 2020. I absolutely loved Emily A. Duncan’s review when it came out last year. I loved every minute of it. And I couldn’t wait for more. When reading the first book, I found that I needed a little bit of time to find my bearings in this cold fantasy world that Duncan has written for us. But I found that I quite enjoyed it once I figured out how most things work! I was also completely smitten with the romance plot (which should come as no surprise to those of you familiar with my tastes, haha).

I found the writing to be a little different from what I had normally been used to, but that it also had a beautiful edginess to it. And I ended up becoming a fan of Duncan’s writing style by the end of book 1 as well! But, you’re not here to read another review for Wicked Saints, haha (though I promise that this was all relevant and a lead-in for my review for book 2)…but I will turn to Ruthless Gods now.

I wasn’t sure where the second book would pick up based on where the first book left off, but I think Duncan handled that pretty well. I was a little upset about some things, but then she would introduce something that would make me forget that I was ever upset (and this happened a number of times throughout Ruthless Gods). I found the second book to be a different experience from Wicked Saints, but can’t say that I’m surprised! Many of you have likely already read my rambles about my struggle with enjoying sequels, and many of you are probably also in the same boat.

I found that I was a bit more confused while reading Ruthless Gods than I was reading Wicked Saints, but that’s because Duncan continued elaborating on the world and its magics and its gods. I will say that I am not troubled by my confusion, however, as I have faith that Duncan will clear a lot of things up in the next book (if it’s the final in the series, that is). There was also a lot of character development in this book, which I won’t address in detail due to potential spoilers. But I can say that I like some characters more now, and like some characters less, haha.

All in all, I still loved the world, the atmosphere, and the characters. I love stepping into Duncan’s world, no matter how dark it is (or maybe because of how dark it is), and I can’t wait to go back once the next book is released!

⤖ About the Author ⬻


Emily A. Duncan was born and raised in Ohio and works as a youth services librarian. She received a Master’s degree in library science from Kent State University, which mostly taught her how to find obscure Slavic folklore texts through interlibrary loan systems. When not reading or writing, she enjoys playing copious amounts of video games and dungeons and dragons. She is represented by Thao Le of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

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⤖ Let’s Chat ⬻


4 thoughts on “Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan (Review)

  1. Excellent review, Flavia! And yes, the next book is the finale to the trilogy. I’m a bit sad about that, but I’m looking forward to seeing how she concludes the trilogy, and then I’m definitely excited to follow her future works. Emily A. Duncan has become an author I am eager to follow.

    1. Thank you! And ahhh good to know 🙂 thank you, Dani. I’m curious to see how things wrap up too (IF they wrap up haha). And yeah I love her writing and imagination 😀

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